Showing posts with label Genealogy Blog Party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Genealogy Blog Party. Show all posts

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Genea-Santa, Take Me to 1903

September 1, 1903
This month, Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party is hosting letters to Genea-Santa. Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings is also asking us to make our Genea-Santa lists.

I made a list, checked it twice, and decided to ask for a field trip.

Dear Genea-Santa,

Please hitch up your sleigh and whisk me through time and space to Elkhart, Indiana, in 1903.

Where else but a family reunion could I ever hope to untangle the cousin connections in my husband's sprawling Larimer/Short/Work families?

For several years around the turn of the 20th century, these intertwined families held summer reunions in Elkhart. Dozens of people attended, and local newspapers in Goshen, Elkhart, even Millersburg covered the event.

My main target for this field trip is Brice Larimer (1819-1906), my husband's great-great-granddaddy. He was "the oldest member of the three families present" at age 84 in 1903, as shown here.

Brice could tell me stories about Bartlett Larimer (1833-1892), a pioneering doctor who inspired his nephews in the Short family to become doctors and dentists. He probably knew the original Larimer shipwreck story by heart, hearing it from his parents who heard it from the journey-taker, Robert Larimer (or Robert's wife Mary O'Gallagher). And I think Brice could tell me about where in Scotland and Ireland all these ancestors were from (another field trip for a future wish list). But as long as I'm at the reunion, I'll chat with every guest and, of course, snap photos.

Genea-Santa, I promise to be nice and share everything I learn with my family and with the wider world via my blog. If I learn anything naughty, I'll share that too! 'Tis the season to be genea-jolly.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Chickie Pitcher and Butterscotch Brownie Traditions

Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party continues this month by celebrating family traditions.

This adorable ceramic chickie pitcher has been a tradition in my husband Wally's Wood family for nearly 80 years. Originally, it was filled with fresh milk to lighten coffee after dinner. These days, we fill it with half and half--but it still puts a smile on our faces because of the whimsical chicks and the memories from holidays past.

Interestingly, Wally's mom, Marian Jane McClure Wood,  became a ceramic artist years later--taking lessons from famed ceramicist Edris Eckhardt and specializing in animal sculptures, reflecting her love of art and animals.

Another long-time tradition in hubby's family: Grandmother Floyda Steiner McClure's Butterscotch Brownies.

The recipe, shown here, has been passed down for several generations. It makes a delicious dessert alone or a special treat topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Happy holidays!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Genealogy Blog Pool Party: Which Weiss is Which?

Bertha and Bela Roth
Elizabeth O'Neal's July theme for the genealogy blog party is Annoying Ancestor? Push 'Em in the Pool!

Well, I'm too soft-hearted to shove anyone into the pool (especially a long-lost ancestor). Still, I'm swimming in Weiss in-laws. There are a lot of Weiss folks married into my maternal Grandmother Minnie Farkas's family tree.

Trying to connect these Weisses to each other is sending me off the deep end--but I'm convinced they're related.


Herman Weiss
Which Weiss is which?!

  • Bertha Batia Weiss (daughter of Solomon and Rose Hoffner) was the 2d wife of Bela Roth, a cousin to my maternal grandmother. She, like all the other in-laws named Weiss, was born in Hungary. She and her husband visited the Farkas Family Tree from time to time and were known to be cousins, but the exact relationship remains a bit fuzzy.
  • Herman Weiss (son of Chaim Yaakov and Rose Svarcz) was the husband of Ida Farkas, known to be a distant cousin to my maternal grandma. Herman & Ida's son Johnny was a frequent visitor to Farkas Family Tree gatherings.
  • Julia Ida Weiss (daughter of Isador and Fany Roth) was the wife of Herman Wajman. My Roth cousins were aware that the family (renamed Warren after daughter Gloria became a star of stage and screen) were cousins, and my research finally proved the link.  
Other Weiss folks appear in family documents. Sam Weiss was the witness to my maternal great-grandpa Moritz Farkas's naturalization. Weiss was the maiden name of the grandmother of cousin Alex Roth's wife, Blanche Schwartz. 

So which Weiss is which? Are any of them cousins or otherwise related to each other and/or to my Farkas family beyond intermarriage? A deeper dive is in my future if I want to figure out which Weiss is which.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Duh to Wow! Uncle Sidney's Birth Record Leads to New Cousins

The May theme for Elizabeth O'Neal's Genealogy Blog Party is: Duh! What was your genealogy "duh" moment and how did you solve it?

Dad (Harold Burk) and Uncle Sidney in WWII

I knew my father's younger brother, Sidney Burk, was born in Canada in 1914, and brought across the border by his mom a year later when she moved back to NYC as her husband looked for work there.

But since Uncle Sidney died a bachelor, and I knew him well, I never bothered to look for his birth records or even his naturalization, assuming there was one.

This was an anomaly: I'm forever chasing after genealogy documents of ancestors' siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins--because there are often nuggets hidden in their documents that can help me learn more about the family (like maiden names or hometowns). For some reason, I just didn't see my uncle's birth as a research priority, especially since I knew little about searching in Canadian records.

Then I heard an expert in French-Canadian genealogy mention the Drouin collection. I went home, logged on, and entered "S Berk" with "Quebec, Canada" as the place of birth. (Berk was the family's name before Burk.)

The top result of my search was "Samuel B. Berk," a name I never heard of. But with a click, I had on the screen a handwritten record of Uncle Sidney's birth, as the son of Henrietta Mahler Berk and Isaac Berk, my grandparents. Duh. So simple, and quite intriguing to find out he'd been given a different name than the one I knew him by.

Double duh: A few lines down in the results was a "Lily Berr" and below that, "Rose Bert." Click: they were both related to Abraham Berk (not transcribed correctly but worth a click to check). I know that name! It's my great-uncle, the brother of my grandpa Isaac. Never before had I known where Abraham lived or the names of his children, and suddenly that entire line opened up to me. Even better, there were living cousins who I soon traced and now am in contact with.

So my duh led to discovering an entire limb of my father's family tree. From duh to WOW!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Time Travel Adventure with Rachel and Mary

Elizabeth O'Neal over at Little Bytes of Life is throwing a Genealogy Blog Party. Thanks, Elizabeth, for the opportunity to blog about April's theme, Time Travel to an Ancestor. I asked hubby who he would like to meet in a time travel adventure, and his answer was his paternal grandma, Mary. My answer is my paternal 2d great-grandma, Rachel.
MEETING RACHEL

My time travel adventure would be with Rachel Shuham Jacobs, shown at right. She was married to Jonah Jacobs and had two children, Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Joseph Jacobs.

As I always do when reaching out to a relative (or someone I think is a relative), I'm going to start by writing Rachel a letter. Of course I'll tell her exactly who I am--what great-great-grandma wouldn't want to know that she's remembered fondly by her family?

Dear GGG Rachel,

Greetings from the future from your great-great-granddaughter! The little girl you're holding in this photo from New York City grew up, got married, and became close friends with a young woman from the Farkas family. Set up on a blind date by these "matchmaker aunts," my parents fell in love, married, and had children--including me. 

So GGG Rachel, I would really like to bring you on a time travel adventure to meet my parents on their wedding day in 1946. Then you can hug your daughter Tillie, who as matriarch was in an honored position at the wedding. Also meet your grandchildren, including my grandma Henrietta and my great-aunt Mary, the little girl who became the matchmaker aunt. 

First, a few questions, please. Where in Lithuania were you born, and who were your parents? What was life like in your home town? How did you meet and marry your husband, Jonah? And how did you feel about leaving Lithuania to live in New York with your two children? 

When I come to pick you up, please wear something a little fancy to the wedding of your great-grandson Harold. Love, Your great-great-granddaughter

MEETING MARY

Hubby would like to meet his father's mother, Mary Slatter Wood, one of two daughters of John Slatter and Mary Shehen Slatter. Mary was born in a poor (really, really poor) area of London but left in the late 1800s for America, where she married James Edgar Wood and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Sadly, Mary died before her sons were fully grown.

Dear Grandma Mary,

Greetings from the future. I'm the oldest son of your oldest son. I want you to know that the musical ability you brought into the Wood family has come down through the generations. Thank you!

Grandma Mary, there are some questions I wish I could ask you. What was life like growing up in London? Do you remember your mother and father? Did you have an older brother Thomas, who died young? Was your mother's death the reason your father left for America? How did you meet and marry my granddaddy? 

It would be wonderful to meet you, Grandma Mary. My plan is to travel back in time to the summer of 1917, when you and Granddaddy James and your four sons took a road trip in your new Ford auto. It looked like quite an adventure. Let me join you and see my ancestors through your eyes. Love, Your grandson